1 Introduction

MAPPA: a basic guide

This is a summary of MAPPA: please see the relevant chapters for details.

1.1 The Criminal Justice Act 2003 ("CJA 2003") provides for the establishment of Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements ("MAPPA") in each of the 42 criminal justice areas in England and Wales. These are designed to protect the public, including previous victims of crime, from serious harm by sexual and violent offenders. They require the local criminal justice agencies and other bodies dealing with offenders to work together in partnership in dealing with these offenders.

1.2 This Guidance on MAPPA has been issued by the Secretary of State for Justice under the CJA 2003 in order to help the relevant agencies in dealing with MAPPA offenders. These agencies are required to have regard to the Guidance (so they need to demonstrate and record their reasons if they depart from it).

1.3 MAPPA is not a statutory body in itself but is a mechanism through which agencies can better discharge their statutory responsibilities and protect the public in a co-ordinated manner. Agencies at all times retain their full statutory responsibilities and obligations. They need to ensure that these are not compromised by MAPPA. In particular, no agency should feel pressured to agree to a course of action which they consider is in conflict with their statutory obligations and wider responsibility for public protection.

1.4 The MAPPA agencies must be free from discrimination and committed to equal access to services for all groups, particularly in relation to race, gender, gender identity, age, religious belief, sexuality, sexual orientation and disability. This means that all actions undertaken or recommended by the MAPPA agencies, and all policies and procedures, will be based on assessments of risks and needs. They will not draw on stereotypical assumptions about groups that will be discriminatory in outcome.

1.5 In undertaking their work, the MAPPA agencies will be sensitive and responsive to individual differences and needs. They will integrate this understanding into the delivery of their functions to ensure that nobody is disadvantaged as a result of belonging to a specific social group. To assist in achieving this, each Responsible Authority must have plans in place and implemented to ensure that issues of diversity are addressed.

1.6 The operation of MAPPA relies on component bodies working through an agreed process with MAPPA offenders, making provision as needed for particular groups, subject to regulation and review. These elements are briefly explored below and are developed in detail in the body of the guidance, in the chapters shown.